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World Music: A Global Journey, w/CDs.

* World Music: A Global Journey, w/CDs, by Terry E. Miller and Andrew Shahriari. Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group, (; 1(800) 634-7064), 2006. 460pp. $59.

Two compact discs with 70 audio examples and hundreds of pictures of performers in varied cultural environments set the stage for this world-wide musical trek. Replete with excellent ideas, efficiently organized and sharing the personal stories of music makers from every continent, this volume is a must for the private studio. It is a wonderful "sampler" of the sounds and sights one would experience in a well-planned musical tour. But much more than that, the book's easy language educates us with accurate geographical and social information, leads our first impressions into each sound sample, and provides a structured analytical approach for those who want it. The authors bring ethnomusicological insights to the reader in clear observations linking each culture's realities with its music.

This publication and its extensions offer answers to many questions about the variety and meaning of traditional, folk and popular music, ranging from songs and instrumental selections by performers in the largest countries to the tiniest islands. Somehow the authors have done the unbelievable--sampled the mass of our world's music and made sense of it.

Conceived as a textbook for college and university world music classes, this new volume has already achieved success in the classroom because it is accessible to non-music majors as well as those emphasizing music study. The preface sets forth the book's purpose, scope, organization and the authors' personal journeys. Opening chapters are followed by sections forming a well-crafted plan of imaginary world travel, exposure to new sounds, investigation of their forms, and absorption of their functions in indigenous societies. Successively we visit Oceania, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and North America--each cued with multiple recorded examples. "Discovering Yourself Through Music" constitutes the final chapter. The emergent result is usable and enjoyable in every teaching-learning setting. Drawbacks are few (such as the absence of timings for each recorded track) and they are far outweighed by the numerous positive inclusions.

Some added utilities are: a detailed index, good maps, brief autobiographies, a large glossary, appropriate photographs, translations, insightful study questions, additional resources, suggestions for further research, websites. For every private teacher pressed for time, this concise publication is a true gift to launch inquisitive music students on their personal journeys to other lands and people, and to help answer the host of student questions that arise in connection with our world's music.--Reviewed by Loran Olsen, NCTM, Port Angeles, Washington

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Author:Olsen, Loran
Publication:American Music Teacher
Date:Jun 1, 2007
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